My Favorite KPOP Groups: #8
I did not discover 2PM until about the time Jay was (at the time) temporarily removed from the group for his anti-korean myspace comments. When I was being introduced to them Jay had just left the country and a media whirlwind was just starting to explode, little did we know the drama that would ensue for months after. Under the awesome JYP Entertainment label, 2PM was introduced to the kpop scene as the total opposite of all the cutesy boy bands hitting the scene at the time; they were a tad older, wore baggy pants and showed off abs, creating a hypermasculine antidote to all the popular pretty boys who were “SHINing” at the time. And so the term “beast-idols” was born. Looking more like gym-loving fratboys than properly trained pop stars the boys - seperated from their 2AM brothers - brought a slick ubranized R&B sound to the kpop market.
What makes 2PM standout, other than their manly concept, was their polished performance skills. Trained in acrobatics, the boys did flips and jumps all over the stage stunning the audience with thier gravity-defying dance skills. Vocally they were fairly solid as well. After hitting it big with thier second single “Again and Again” the Jay scandal erupted and the groups activities were at a standstill. Hottests were losing thier minds and JYP promised Jays eventual return. Then things took a strange turn. The boys (as a six-piece) released their first album, the oddly titled 1:59PM, and released the weird/awesome emo-zombie single “Heartbeat,” which proved the boys were still good performers. Then all hell broke loose.
It was announced Jays contract was termintated and he would not be returning to 2PM becuase of something he had done that was, according to JYP, very very bad. Vague much? Well needless to say Hottest went ballistic and a weird chain of events followed, including an ill-timed fan chat. Eventually the boys moved on releasing the euro-dancetastic “Without U” - note the continuing emo-boy theme. All in all since all the Jay drama the 2PM boys still make a pretty great group, though I do think vocally Jays absence is felt since now Changsung is singing more and now Nichkhun is rapping (though i do like his rapping more than his singing.) The boys weren’t great vocalist before but now it is a bit more obvious. I will also say that the music quality also took a dismal turn with “Ill Be Back” which was the biggest kpop dissappointment of 2010 in my humble opinion.
The boys still got it in them though, they are some of the best dancers in Korea, and if the Jay drama didnt tear them down, nothing will. Vocally Wooyoung, Junho, and Junsu are all very good and the other guys are great performers, dancers, lookers (?)….. anyway they are a great group but I would like to see a change in style from them - stop being so emo!!!
I do wanna add something though - everything always turns out OK. The boys are still one of the best kpop groups out there and I have a lot of respect for all of them. Say what you want about Nichkhun being a pretty boy plucked into the kpop market without any talent or skills - no one in my opinion tries harder then him to be more than just a pretty face. He isnt a good singer but you can tell he works REALLY hard to improve. Kudos my friend - kudos.
Favorite Member:….thats hard. Wooyoung or Nichkhun.
Key Tracks: “Again and Again,” “Heartbeat,” “Without U,” “Tired of Waiting,” “Gimme The Light,” “Dont Stop Wont Stop.”